By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024
SenateWest Virginia: Democratic Candidate Emerges — Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott (D), a former staff member for Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV), announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the open seat that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is vacating. Though a long shot to overtake favored Republican candidate Jim Justice, the state’s two-term governor, the Democrats now appear to have a credible candidate to fill the major void that Sen. Manchin leaves for his party. Also in the Republican Senate primary is US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town).
IN-8: Rep. Larry Bucshon (R) to Retire — Continuing the recent cascade of House retirements, seven-term Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) announced that he will not seek re-election later this year. Bucshon becomes the 43rd member leaving the House, and the 19th Republican. This is another seat that will be non-competitive in the general election, however.
The 8th District, formerly one of the most hotly contested seats in the country to the point it was nicknamed “the Bloody Eighth,” is no longer a domain that produces close general election results and a large number of incumbent defeats. In his seven successful elections, Rep. Bucshon averaged 61.7 percent of the vote and has broken the 60 percent threshold in his last five consecutive campaigns.
IN-8 occupies the southwest corner of Indiana, bordering Kentucky on the south and Illinois on the west. The two largest population centers are the cities of Evansville and Terre Haute. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates IN-8 as the second-safest Republican seat in the Hoosier State at R+36. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 50th-safest seat in the Republican Conference.
With Reps. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) running for the Senate and Reps. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) and Bucshon retiring, one-third of Indiana’s nine congressional seats now stand in the open category. The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 9 for the associated May 7 Indiana primary election.
Kentucky: Candidate Filing Closes — One more state, Kentucky, has closed its candidate filing period for the 2024 primary election. With no Senate or governor’s race on the 2024 ballot, the presidential and congressional races will lead the ticket.
All six US House incumbents have political opponents, but Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Garrison) and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) drew no Democratic general election competition in Districts 4 and 5, respectively. Both have Republican primary opposition. It appears that all six incumbents, five Republicans and one Democrat, will have easy runs in the general election.
No Labels Party: Qualifies in Maine; Objecting in Arizona — The No Labels Party announced that they have qualified for a ballot line in Maine, to date increasing the number of states to 13 where they will have ballot presence for the 2024 election.
Conversely, they have also filed suit in Arizona trying to block candidates for offices other than president from using their ballot line. Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) is treating No Labels as the state would any other political party. That is, a registered voter in that party can run for office. It is doubtful that No Labels will be granted a court ruling that allows the party leaders to bar a qualified individual from running under their ballot line.
The states where No Labels has qualified for ballot position are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah. The party officials claim to have active ballot qualification petition drives underway in an additional 14 unidentified states.